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developerWorks: Access USB Devices from Java Applications

Sep 08, 2003, 07:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Qingye Jiang)

[ Thanks to Bob for this link. ]

"The first version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) specification was released in January 1996. Because of its low cost, high data-transfer rate, ease of use, and flexibility, USB has gained wide acceptance in the computer industry. Today, many peripherals and devices connect to computers through USB interfaces. Currently, most general-purpose operating systems provide support for USB devices, and it is relatively easy to develop applications in C or C++ that access such peripherals. However, the Java programming language by design provides very little support for hardware access, so writing Java applications that interact with USB devices has proved quite difficult.

"Efforts to provide access to USB devices in the Java language were initiated in 1999 by Dan Streetman at IBM. In 2001, his project was accepted as a candidate extended standard of the Java language through the Java Specification Request (JSR) process. The project is now called JSR-80 and has been officially assigned the Java package javax.usb. Meanwhile, in June 2000, Mojo Jojo and David Brownell started the jUSB project at SourceForge. Both of these projects have since produced usable packages for Linux developers, although neither is close to perfect. Both projects also have begun attempts to provide access to USB devices for Java applications on other operating systems, though usable packages have not yet emerged from either..."

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